Do Kindergarten teachers work less hours than most teachers?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by thinkthinkthink, Jun 14, 2016.

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How many TOTAL hours do you work as a Kindergarten teacher?

  1. More than 40 hours per week

    7 vote(s)
    100.0%
  2. Less than 40 hours per week

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Other

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. thinkthinkthink

    thinkthinkthink New Member

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    Jun 14, 2016

    Hello!
    I need to make a serious decision please. I really want to become a Kindergarten teacher but always read horror stories about teachers almost always working 60+ hours per week. Unfortunately I have great caregiving responsibilities in my family and that would be impossible for me to do. However I was wondering if Kindergarten teachers work less hours? I mean TOTAL including grading, planning, parent/student meetings? Also, is it extremely hard to become ONLY A KINDER teacher because of competition? Like would I need to always teach other grades too? I am hoping to finish school to become a Kinder teacher and maybe substitute teach until I finally get a Kinder position. Do you think this is realistic?
    Thank you, I don't want to make a mistake pursuing this. I am in between this or just trying to work my way up in administrative type jobs as a career because I really can't work over 40 hrs a week with my family situation. I really want to do this but I'm also afraid that pursuing this may take away from my husband's ability to go back to school how much he would want to as well. Poor guy doesn't even have is High School as he came from Mexico, he's been working so so hard for us and I want to help him too. I'm thinking of waitressing weekends (I've done this many years and make good money in tips) and going to school part time but I'm not sure if I should just get some full time administrative entry job somewhere so he has more freedom for his school? We also don't have health insurance right now so we'd need to shell out lots for obama care...I feel very confused. Also with the economy right now I keep reading how hard it is for new teachers to find work.. I'm hoping subbing would help hold us off until I could get a Kindergarten classroom.
    As far as limited hours I can work.. Thing is when we have kids (we don't have any but are almost 30 so I'm trying to prepare) as far as hours devoted to caregiving it would be similar a single mom. My husband is wonderful but he has made it clear that he is very traditional and would always be willing to provide for us completely (most likely he would work 60-80 hrs a week) but it's clear he would leave almost everything else to me (all housework, child care, shopping etc etc). On top of that sometimes I need to help my parents as they off and on get very ill, and I am their only child. I know if I was working over 40 hrs a week as a mother I would go insane (I greatly respect and admire moms who do this but I am not that skilled). I LOVE young children and I'm hoping Kindergarten wouldn't be more than 40 hours full time or maybe I could even do 1/2 day?
    I'm sorry this is so long. It's just I'm SO torn as we agreed ABSOLUTELY NO student loans and have a very limited income. Do you think I should pursue this or just start in a clerical entry job somewhere and work my way up as much as possible in hope that it would be enough (maybe Executive Assistant or Senior Administrative Assistant in a University thing?). I'm just scared that that may become a dead end and then when we have kids it would be impossible for me to back to school, so I feel like I NEED to make a decision now or else.. I might sound entitled/ too picky but with our family situation I honestly can't have a career that I would need to work a lot of overtime even bringing it home. I'd also love being a Preschool teacher but I don't think it would be enough to live on. Help please from you wonderful teachers? Thank you so much....
     
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  3. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Jun 14, 2016

    Kindergarten teachers work the same hours as other teachers. I have known Kindergarten teachers who have moved from Kindergarten to older grades. They have said they work about the same hours in the older grades. One even felt she worked less hours in moving up to older grades. You'll have less grading in Kindergarten, but more preparing of materials. You won't be saving any time by moving to Kindergarten unless you do 1/2 day. Realize if you do 1/2 day, you get 1/2 pay.
     
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  4. thinkthinkthink

    thinkthinkthink New Member

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    Jun 14, 2016

    Thank you so much for your reply! :) Thank you.. I'm trying to be realistic. I was looking on indeed and there are barely any 1/2 day jobs let alone even just Kindergarten. I think I should just look for any entry level clerical job with good benefits and schedule and try to work my way up. I think that's what is most realistic and best for my family. It feels strange to "give up" on going back to school for a career, but I honestly can't find any career that would work for my family situation. I am planning to volunteer with kids and I pray that God will help me work my way up to a job that can fulfill my family's unique needs. Maybe someday in future (after kids are older?) I can go back to school to be a Kindergarten teacher but I think it is unwise right now. :/
     
  5. TnKinder

    TnKinder Companion

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    I think kindergarten teacher work the same as any other grade, but the is a differnece. The pp is correct in that there is less to grade. Most assessments are done one on one which is very time consuming. Another difference is your expectation of what students can do. Most kids coming in have not been in a school setting and you have to teach them how to everything in a school environment, from coming I the classroom to walking down the hall. The first few weeks are extremely exhausting.
     
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  6. dr.gator

    dr.gator Comrade

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    Jun 14, 2016

    I have taught k, 1, 2, and 3 the work load as far as time is the same for all grade levels. There are just different tasks in different grade levels.
     
  7. phillyteacher

    phillyteacher Comrade

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    Jun 14, 2016

    You might want to consider something like being a paraprofessional or school aid. I'm not sure if that would be enough income for what you're looking for, but it would be less work outside of school for sure. Or substitute teaching.
     
  8. thinkthinkthink

    thinkthinkthink New Member

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    Jun 14, 2016

    Thank you all. Yes I thinking of teacher aide jobs as well. I'm also thinking if I get a lot of administrative/executive assistant experience now (I only have waitressing, retail, and daycare experience and AA in Psychology) when kids are school aged maybe I could be a secretary in an elementary school. I know all these dont get as much pay as a typical "career" but I think it's the best I can do with our situation and helping my husband go back to school right now. It bothers me that people think both parents should have high degrees and education but then they all require to work 60+hrs/week or no family friendly hrs (like nursing). I feel like I'm giving up on school but can't think of anything else I could do.
    I even got excited about becoming a SLP cuz I thought it sounded wonderful and less hours than a teacher but NOPE. With all the paperwork and meeting times they work the same hours. Plus a lot only get paid for the time in therapy. On top of it all I came back down to earth when I found out how much money, time, and devotion it takes to become one..
    So my career choice is left to l: Administrative Assistant.
    People look down on me and think that's not a " real career" but I think depending on where you work and what position you can make enough to help support your family.. I just have to keep telling myself that Im making the right decision and won't regret not going back to school later.. Hopefully.. Thank you
     
  9. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    Jun 14, 2016

    You should definitely look into paraprofessional-ing (ha..). They rarely work more than 40 hours per week and there are some parapro positions that are only needed half days.
    The pay is less, but you get the same benefits as the teachers (health insurance!)
    And depending on the area/district, you might get paid salary :)
     
  10. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    I student taught in K and now teach upper elementary. Like others have said, it's not less work for any grade, just different. Kindergarten had a lot more set up and material finding time required. Older kids can work more independently and do more written work. If you need something with reduced hours, I suggest looking at the job openings of your local district and seeing whether they have openings for part time teachers. Depending on your area, schools may hire part time specials teachers, ESL or special ed teachers.
     
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  11. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Jun 14, 2016

    I student taught in K and now teach upper elementary. Like others have said, it's not less work for any grade, just different. Kindergarten had a lot more set up and material finding time required. Older kids can work more independently and do more written work. If you need something with reduced hours, I suggest looking at the job openings of your local district and seeing whether they have openings for part time teachers. Depending on your area, schools may hire part time specials teachers, ESL or special ed teachers.
     
  12. renard

    renard Companion

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    I have a disabled child so I work as a para (I get the "good jobs" like speech and ESL due to my qualifications). I also teach occasional night ESL classes, just to maintain a classroom presence. It isn't ideal, but the workload for FT teachers is too high for me right now (and truthfully, the PT teachers still work tons too).
     
  13. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Depending on your state, substitute teaching could pay less than $90 to more than $200 a day. That may be of interest to you!
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2016
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  14. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Jun 14, 2016

    I don't know of many careers that have work weeks of fewer than forty hours. Would your husband allow you to use your salary to pay a weekly housekeeper and a occasional babysitter so you wouldn't be so stressed?
     
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  15. renard

    renard Companion

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    Jun 15, 2016

    Keep in mind, as much as we love young children, taking care of them and disciplining them from sun up to sundown (students and your own) is extremely exhausting. I've just requested a transfer to an older grade, just for this reason. You're always "on", there's no break, and it's tiring. I'm only at 0.6FTE, too. What keeps me sane is that my spouse helps out with the children's bedtime, and any sick days. I think I'd be quite resentful if he felt he didn't have to participate in child rearing. Some might say you can "do it all", but that's a great recipe for burn out and stress. This job is stressful enough.

    What I *might* recommend here is considering a childcare environment where you can bring your child and work at the same time. I know quite a few daycare centres have preschools inside them - perhaps you could consider a career as a child care worker/preschool teacher in the same location. My daycare does this, and the mothers pay reduced rates as employees. It has advantages - my son's preschool is in the elementary school I work at. He doesn't even need transportation after - I can just walk from the classroom to pick him up. Depending on your housing circumstances, an in-home daycare may be a great solution.

    You won't find a half-time K teacher who puts in less than 40 hours. She might not be in IEP meetings or in a classroom, but she'll be photocopying, prepping, searching lessons, planning crafts, answering emails constantly, etc. Many experienced teachers will say K is actually one of the most challenging grades.
     
  16. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I'm unclear about why you couldn't work more than 40 hours a week (since you don't have kids?) but if I were you my main concern would be finding any job that would allow me to support myself and husband. Ideally, a 40+ a week job would supply insurance for both of you. At least until he's out of school and finds a job. If you found a part time job during the week (part time aide or subbing) you might still have to work weekends to make up the monetary difference.
     
  17. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Questions about what teaching position is "easier" or "less work" always concern me a bit. None of us can really compare our jobs with anyone else's. We all work hard and can't always anticipate from year to year (or even day to day) what hours we will need to put in.

    As far as only being willing to teach one grade, whether kindergarten or anything else, it certainly couldn't be guaranteed here. We are expected to be willing to teach anything within our qualifications.
     
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  18. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    My gut thought is that your hubby needs to stop with the "wife does everything" nonsense. If you're both working full-time jobs, then he can certainly be helping out at home.
     
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  19. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I agree, traditional or not, if you are both working full time, household responsibilities need to be shared as well.
     
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  20. thinkthinkthink

    thinkthinkthink New Member

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    Thank you everyone so much for your responses! ^_^
    I have decided I am not meant to teach but Ill definitely look into paraprofessional in the future. Thank you all again for your help!❤
     
  21. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Good luck!

    One more thought... one thing that works for some parents who want to stay home with their kids and make money is opening up an in-home daycare. This could be as simple as you watching a few kids for side money as you take care of your own, or as complex as going through the state licensure process and owning a licensed daycare.
     
  22. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Jun 15, 2016

    Our K teachers work significantly longer hours than anyone else in the building. On a normal night they leave somewhere around 6:30-7:00, but sometimes they'll stay until 9:00 (our day starts at 7:30 am). I do think that they're often spending a lot of time on things that are (IMHO) unnecessary, like cutesy props and decorations, but I get that there is more of an expectation to have those kinds of things in K. One of my field experiences was in K and I remember being really surprised at how "on" you have to be every second. I remember literally feeling like I didn't have time to turn around and set papers on the desk (like if someone brought a note to the door). I didn't feel like that in other grades.

    That said, in my area there are no full time teaching jobs that are less than 40 hours per week. An 8 hour contract day/40 hour week is standard around here; I'm always surprised when I read about other cases on here.
     
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  23. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    OP,I'm glad you made the decision to choose something other than teaching. With all the home responsibilities you say you have, I do think you will be overwhelmed.

    Now, you have to figure out how to bring your husband into the 21st century before you choose to have your own children!
     
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  24. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Jun 16, 2016

    I agree with other posters that your husband needs to stop thinking of kids and house as your job. You have no idea what you're getting into. Kids are WORK and time-consuming. I've never understood the traditional mindset when the husband is not the only one supporting the household.
     

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